Current Publications

Xiqu 2.0: Expanded Chinese Opera in Digital Times

Rossella Ferrari

Xiqu 2.0 designates a deconstructive approach to adapting and updating the classical theatres of the Sinophone region (xiqu) and a form of expanded Chinese opera in digital times. It highlights strategies of versioning and serialization of classical texts and tropes in (post-)modern performance environments and foregrounds media and textual interactivity, networking, and participative contexts of production, reception, and circulation—including the production, reception, and circulation of cultural memory across the contemporary Sinosphere. The stage practice of Hong Kong-based multi-genre artist Danny Yung of Zuni Icosahedron aptly illustrates the multiple dimensions of xiqu 2.0—particularly his long-term experiments with Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion (1598). Representative works include the digital Kun opera Sigmund Freud in Search of Chinese Matter and Mind (2002/2016) and the performance series The Interrupted Dream, premiered in 2018. The latter connects Tang’s oneiric imaginary to the postcolonial critique of orientalism via references to seventeenth-century Chinoiserie at the court of Louis XIV. Redeveloped for live-streaming during the Covid-19 pandemic, in the aftermath of the 2019/20 Hong Kong protests the series served as a conduit of mediated remembrance across the digital Sinosphere and a commentary on ancien and modern regimes, past and present revolutions, old and new Chinese Dreams.

Department of East Asian Studies
Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese Literature
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
602045 Sinology
Portal url